Daily Management Review

Trump is against migrants; meanwhile, there's no hands to gather crops in the US


Donald Trump’s popularity has led to the fact that the country’s fields are wasting large part of the crop. Given the attitude of the US presidential candidate to migrants, conducting migration reform in the country has become virtually impossible. Meanwhile, the US farms are experiencing a serious shortfall of workers, as a quarter of them were immigrants from neighboring countries.

Donald Trump is so vehemently advocating stricter immigration policy that US crop yields began to die. His ascent to the political Olympus has de facto killed an immigration reform, which was to facilitate the entry of agricultural workers. One of its initiators was Marco Rubio, whom the eccentric billionaire easily knocked out of the race. Now, supporters of the migration policy’s only hope to occasionally improve the program, and US farmers, meanwhile, are already experiencing an acute shortage of manpower.

Owner of several agricultural land in Napa County, California, told Bloomberg that a quarter of his crop simply rotted this year. 37 workers were late because of bureaucratic delays inherent in the current system of issuing visas for agriculture workers. He would like the reform to be sped up, but, as he himself admits, any improvements are unlikely in the current situation.

US agriculture is not just dependent on migrant workers’ hands; it actually runs on them. At the same time, according to the Pew Hispanic Center report, about a quarter of the workforce involved in the agricultural sector of the country is illegally-based. It is about 300 thousand people, and, according to estimates of other experts, this figure may exceed the one-million mark. And the reason is not limited to the quotas set by the existing provisions of immigration legislation. Now, the authorities annually issue no more than 139,832 visas for temporary stay. After the reform, the quota would increase to 337 thousand visas, which would have been enough to provide all US farms with the necessary number of workers.

Now, however, it’s Donald Trump’s time. During one of the primaries, one of his most memorable slogans was construction of a wall on the Mexican border to cut off the path for illegal migrants. At the same time, the businessman suggested that its construction would be funded by the Mexicans themselves. However, forecasts show that the American agriculture would be main payer in this case. The Federation of American farmers estimated that if the wall is constructed, the United States will lose about 60% of its fruit production, which would end up outside the country, first of all, in the same Mexico. The reason is simple - without migrants, there will be nobody to gather the harvest. The reforms, meanwhile, could reduce this figure to 2-3%.

Donald Trump, as a candidate for the Republican Party, seems to contradict his party around. Here’s one more detail that underlines this: Farmers Association takes tenth place in terms of donations to various political campaigns. However, three quarters of these funds goes to the GOP bill. In this scenario, the Republicans just cannot turn away from the needs of the country's agriculture. Now, however, the "Trump factor" is stronger. 

source: bloomberg.com

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